Meet the photographer who is putting the James Bay winter road on the Google Map

An 800 kilometre stretch of road in northern Ontario is about to get the Google Street View treatment.

800 kilometres of northern Ontario winter road is on Google Street View for the rest of the world to see

An 800 kilometre stretch of roads in northern Ontario is about to get the Google Street View treatment.

Between March 3-8, Mushkegowuk Council hired San Francsico-based photographer Tawanda Kanhema to travel the Wetum and James Bay coastal roads to communities like Attawapiskat and Kashechewan.

Equipped with 3D camera and other specialized gear, Kanhema documented his journey down the winter road for the rest of the world to see.

"I had never been to northern Ontario when the project was pitched," Kanhema said. "But I just find it fascinating that this is something that connected communities."

Kanhema said it was a drastic contrast to the previous project he was involved in—  documenting the roads that connect desert communities in Namibia.Morning temperatures soared to over 40 degrees in the Namibian desert, while Kanhema said he arrived in Attawapiskat when the thermometer plunged to -31 degrees.

"It was quite overwhelming being in a place that's just snow as far as the eye can see," Kanhema said. "And knowing that everything you see is going to be gone after the winter."

He added that documenting the road allows him to feel a part of a larger project — that of bringing underrepresented communities to the digital world.

"It really does feel great to be able to contribute towards the effort to bridge the digital divide and places that would otherwise have to wait quite long to get the presentation on digital platforms," he said.

"It's great to be able to play a role in bringing those assets into the digital space."


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